Comfort is one of the north stars of fashion. Who wants to die for a fit? Kwity Paye, the eventual No. 21 pick, was nervously wiping his brow when I talked with him a few hours before draft time. He chose to highlight his own lineage: Born in Guinea, Paye and his family escaped the Liberian War, which claimed the life of one of his family members. They lived as refugees before he starred at Michigan. His look paid homage to his Black pride—and gave a nod to the late Chadwick Boseman with a few subtle Black Panther touches.
Created by former Packers player Adonis Jennings, the garnishes of the suit made it look like it was stitched in Wakanda, with the fictional Marvel country’s lavender and cerulean astral plane lining the inside of the jacket. Jennings had seen Paye imitating the Wakanda Forever salute during his games while he celebrated and wanted to give him something special for his big night. “Growing up, you didn’t see many Black superheroes,” Paye told me. “Once [Chadwick] came onto the scene he gave a lot of young, Black men a superhero who looks like them and someone to look up to. For me, I try to embody that. I continue to do the celebration on the field in respect for [Chadwick].” He also wore a sweet little elephant chain.